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The Art Directors Guild has announced nominees for excellence in production design for 2012. A wide cross-section of work was selected, though high-profile exclusions include "The Master" and "Moonrise Kingdom."
In the period category, Oscar frontrunners such as "Anna Karenina," "Les Miserables" and "Lincoln" were chalked up alongside "Argo" (which is likely to keep burning it up with industry awards) and "Django Unchained" (more support for Quentin Tarantino's film).
Meanwhile, in the fantasy field (which is likely to offer up one or a few Oscar nominees itself), PGA nominee "Life of Pi" made a showing, as did Ridley Scott's "Alien" prequel "Prometheus." Warner Bros. ought to be happy with the films rounding it out, as "Cloud Atlas," "The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" all come from their stable.
Finally, the contemporary field -- which rarely produces work that stands out enough with the Academy's design branch enough to find space in the nominations (unfortunately) -- saw "Skyfall" and "Zero Dark Thirty" pick up their second guild nominations of the day. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (still an industry favorite that could surprise next Thursday), "Flight" and "The Impossible" filled out the set.
This is bummer news for "The Master," and production designer Jack Fisk remains a one-time nominee with the guild and, potentially, with the Academy. Of course, one can pay TOO much attention to guild announcements. Last year Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" seemed like it was all but dead as it missed industry nod after industry nod. Meanwhile, David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" managed to keep getting nominations. The former got the Best Picture nod over the latter.
And it's a shame to see "Moonrise Kingdom" miss, as it had some exemplary work to say the least. I'm not sure that missing here says a whole lot about its Best Picture chances, and frankly, Adam Stockhausen's work shouldn't be ruled out for Oscar recognition just yet, either.
As for this particular category, I'd say "Anna Karenina," "Les Miserables" and "Lincoln" are still the good bets. "Django Unchained" would make a handsome addition, and might just, while I might look to the fantasy field to fill out the slate. Perhaps "Cloud Atlas" or the supremely crafted "Prometheus."
And let's not forget, Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy managed nominations for three-straight years. So perhaps "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has a better shot than most might think? And honestly, I wouldn't rule out "Argo" here. Sharon Seymour's detailed work could easily manage a bid.
Check out the full list below. The 17th annual Art Directors Guild Awards will be held on February 2.
As always, keep track of the 2012-2013 film awards season via The Circuit.
"The Dark Knight Rises"
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
"Life of Pi"
"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"
"Zero Dark Thirty"
Everything: Academy Awards
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